Salvadorean Woman Examinates the Safety Measures in E.E.U.U. Schools in View of Violence With Weapons

By Voluntarios FUSALMO

The compatriot verifies seven schools each year in the Californian city of Duarte, with the purpose that the institutions have all the protection mechanisms in case a shooting breaks out, a scenario that frequently occurs in that country. Promoting security strategies and ensuring that schools are prepared for possible shooting scenarios in the United States is one of the main objectives of the Salvadoran Reyna Esperanza Díaz as a member of the board of education of the Duarte unified school district, in California, for more than two decades.

Before each visit, Díaz studies a document with all the provisions. Not only check the facilities, but take note of what is not right to consult the district superintendent if it has already been changed.

”I care about the students and the staff that work at the school,” she said. The compatriot, along with four other people from the board, makes the tours once a year in the seven school centers of the district, inspects the installation of video surveillance cameras, that the doors of the classrooms are in excellent condition, that the buildings have a corresponding number to identify more easily in any altercation and that due process is followed in each drill.

“We definitely need stricter laws. Access to guns is affecting schools. The aggressors decide to go kill the institutions where they were educated because they are angry for a certain reason against that very center,” Díaz commented.

Although Duarte has not experienced a shooting at the academies, it has received threatening calls. When this emergency occurs, an alert is issued, schools close and all security protocols are activated. Police and firefighters come and surround the area, Díaz explained.

“We have to prevent” she said. The Gun Violence File defines a mass shooting as when there are four or more victims, not including the shooter. One of the massive incidents this year was registered in March, when the former student of the private Christian school The Covenant School Audrey Haley, 28 years old, entered with several weapons and killed three children and three adults. The facility is in Nashville, Tennessee. Police investigation revealed that Haley died at the scene and identified as transgender; In addition, had legally acquired seven weapons at five different local gun shops and hid in his home.

The shootings in schools, shopping centers and on holidays have put the Joe Biden government and Congress in serious debates about access to weapons and regulations with more prohibitions to acquire them. Both bodies have not been successful in promoting a law project that deprives these actions. So that the issue is not left alone in discussion, the Salvadoran woman went in a caravan in April, along with other boards of directors in California, to Congress in Washington. Her mission was to request help in the areas where schools are most exposed, including shootings, weapons, and fentanyl.

“Weapons and drugs are critical problems for us” she said. Díaz perceived that there is no progress because the congressmen do not agree. “Everyone has their own interest,” she said. The delegation was received by at least five parliamentarians, including Grace Napolitano.

“Arms factories are the ones that help the most in political campaigns” he opined. Education leaders demanded tougher legislation and more control over gun sales. “Here they can enter any store with their license and the gun is sold to them, sometimes they don’t even check the history of the buyers”, indicated.

“We know that our hands are closed. Napolitano told us that he was working on it, but that the other [congressmen] do not want to cooperate,” was his response. The Salvadoran clarified that although there is no progress in the Congress, as local authorities they analyze initiatives and apply them in their sectors. In 2022 there were at least 46 school shootings, according to an investigation by “The Washington Post.”